NSW Police said they are ‘very happy’ with the search for the remains of William Tyrrell as it announced the operation will be extended due to bad weather.
At an update on Friday morning, Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Bennett said the length of the search may now be 12 weeks but enough material had been found to justify its extension.
The information was provided as the search for the three-year-old entered its 12th day.
‘It is obvious to all of us that we couldn’t have picked a worst time in terms of weather,’ Det Chief Super Bennett said.
‘The weather has been atrocious pretty much since we started. The coroner has been kept appraised of our progress.
‘It is painstaking, it’s difficult. We are very happy with the progress so far and we are very comfortable with where we’re at, but no great milestone to report today except to say that the search may well be extended beyond our initial time-frames.’
‘Numerous [items] have been seized which have been progressed forensically… and the progress of those results have been submitted to the coroner to assist with the inquest.’
Det Chief Super Bennett said he was confident the police operation would collate enough evidence to allow the coroner’s inquest to continue.
“I’m very confident of the Strike Force (Rosann) getting a body of evidence and information together to report to the coroner, to continue to the inquest, and the coroner will deal with that information as she sees fit,’ he said.
A police diver searches a dam for any trace of missing three-year-old, William Tyrrell
This dam, which is about a kilometre from William’s foster grandmother’s house, is believed to have been searched in the initial hunt when he disappeared
Two police divers emerge from the water after a search of a dam in Kendall on the NSW mid-north coast
Police search one of the dig sites off Batar Creek Road near the Kendall property from where William disappeared in September 2014
The boy disappeared from his foster grandmother’s home at Kendall on NSW mid-north coast in September 2014.
Yesterday, police divers searched a dam for any trace of the missing boy,
Police have been intensively searching around the home as well as nearby bushland, enduring a week of persistent rain.
Forensic anthropologist Penny McCardle arrived at the edge of the dam shortly after yesterday’s dive started to supervise as the men bobbed in the water.
This dam, which is about a kilometre from William’s foster grandmother’s house, is believed to have been searched in the initial hunt when he disappeared.
The body of water leads to a creek where on Tuesday police found three items that were bagged and sent for forensic testing.
The specialist officers first arrived at the Batar Creek Road dig site on Wednesday afternoon, where they inspected a rainwater tank at the home where William was last seen.
A GoPro-style camera fitted to a pole was lowered into the tank to film what was inside, while a group of officers watched via a monitoring screen.
A day after being named as the next commissioner, Ms Webb said the team of 30 police involved in the search had been joined on Wednesday by specialist police divers, who inspected a septic tank and a water tank on the Kendall property.
The divers donned wetsuits and scuba gear to search a small dam on Thursday.
The search continued as the incoming NSW Police commissioner promised ‘we’re not going to give up’.
“We need to find William and get this resolved,” Deputy Commissioner Karen Webb said.
Ms Webb says she’s confident there will be a result in the case but it will take time.
“It’s a long laborious search and obviously the weather conditions up there at the moment are unfavourable but police will pursue that no matter what,” she told Sydney radio 2GB on Thursday.
“I’m confident this team will keep pursuing this until we get a result.
“We need to find William and get this resolved.”
Specialist officers inspected a rainwater tank at the former foster grandmother’s home where William was last seen
Police are seen on the eleventh day of the search for any remains of the boy near the Kendall property
Hydrologist Professor Jon Olley (left) chats with police as the rain-sodden search continued
More than 15 tonnes of soil have been taken to a lab for forensic analysis as a result of the new search
More than 15 tonnes of soil have been taken to a lab for analysis but Ms Webb said she was not aware of any DNA being detected.
“There’s been miles and miles of material and many exhibits taken that will be examined but that takes time.”
The search is expected to continue for at least another four weeks.
Fresh information sparked a renewed police search, and they’ve spent the last 10 days digging and sifting through the soil at three locations along Batar Creek Road.
Last week, police also revealed they were investigating whether William fell from the balcony at his foster grandmother’s home to his death.
A specially trained cadaver dog was brought in to search underneath the home for evidence, the garden bed has been dug up and a concrete slab laid in the garage of the home was scrutinised by the Australian Federal Police using a ground penetrating scanner.
The AFP’s Forensic Imagery and Geometrics team looked into any abnormalities under the slab by bouncing an image off the machine’s radar.
The search for the remains of William Tyrrell is expected to continue for at least another four weeks
Last week, police also revealed they were investigating whether William fell from the balcony at his foster grandmother’s home (pictured) to his death
One of the sites police also dug up was once a riding school for the disabled where the little boy’s foster mother drove to on the morning he vanished.
She told police she drove down Batar Creek Road looking for William on the morning he disappeared and stopped at the riding school to let a car behind her pass, taking a moment to make sure he wasn’t nearby.
William was playing at his foster grandmother’s house with his sister, and was wearing a Spiderman suit at the time of his disappearance in September 2014.
For seven years it was believed William had been abducted from the property but on November 15, after receiving new evidence, NSW Police commenced the new search at the Kendall property and surrounds for what it said were the remains of the boy.